Time, June 4, 2013

As Steven Brill laid out in his recent TIME cover story, "Bitter Pill," the cost of various health care services is based on a mysterious and confusing set of formulas that leave consumers in the dark. This is no more true that when it comes to the uninsured who, without an insurer or large employers to negotiate for them, are often stuck with massive bills for services they had no choice about and which are set at prices many times more than what individual procedures and treatments actually cost. When the Affordable Care Act comes online fully in 2014, most currently uninsured Americans will gain new coverage, but hospital pricing, the foundation for insurance premiums, seems likely to remain shrouded in mystery.

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